9th August 2016 | Peter Harris
This is the question I’m asking myself and my customers, in 2025 BT will be switching off their ISDN lines and moving everybody onto SIP according to Gavin Patterson BT Group CEO. “We already serve many thousands of customers in businesses using IP, our goal is by 2025 all of our voice customers will be served using an IP with a premises solution and will migrate off the traditional telephony platform.”
What does that mean?
It means your traditional phone line will now be sent over the internet or SIP trunks as they’re more commonly known. So if you’re looking to renew your contract, change provider or install a new phone system it’s worth considering SIP now.
What are the benefits?
SIP trunking is scalable, cheaper and flexible. The work place is changing at a rate of knots. We now have the flexibility to work from home or on the move and SIP allows us to do this. Your calls can be delivered to your mobile, PC or whatever compatible device you have. It will also change the we look at disaster recovery.
If you have a hosted SIP solution you can invoke an emergency call plan straight away and keep your business running when you set up a business continuity plan. Staff can work from home or another location depending on your organisation. Although SIP is relatively simple and straight forward to set up you still have a few things to consider.
1) What provider will you choose – There’s a lot of providers out and that number is only going to get bigger so take your time and research your next provider and make sure it can deliver an end to end service.
2) You’ll have to change your handsets – SIP means new handsets but this brings benefits. Once they are programmed with the number they can be plugged in anywhere.
3) Migrate your existing numbers – This should be straightforward and your provider should be able to this easily.
4) Testing – Be sure it works before you switch. Choose a good provider and they will do this as part of the service. Don’t cut corners and end up in a mess on switch-over day.
5) Who’s going to support it? This is crucial. Again, do your research and make sure you’re covered. Things can go wrong and a watertight support contract is a must.
Having an IP based infrastructure will allow you to unify your communications. It’s a term that’s been around for a while but now you’ll able to take advantage. If you have been thinking about upgrading your Video Communications or are just considering it then IP will allow that. We have some great product reviews for solutions that will be of benefit www.interact-technology.com/blog.
2025 isn’t that far away and it really is worth considering making the change now or at the end of your next contract. As the switch off draws nearer, support for ISDN will begin to drop until it eventually ends and I believe it best to make the leap now or within the next couple of years. Don’t take out an expensive ISDN contract that will be obsolete before you know it. Make the change and start to see real cost savings.